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Brad Meltzer Education. (2012) 'Heroes for My Daughter.'

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Brad Meltzer 8, Randy 5, Brad 5, Miami 4, America 4, Us 4, Dylan 3, Nancy Brinker 3, Randy Pausch 3, John Wilkes 3, Ireland 2, Beverly 2, Maryland 2, Israel 2, Nasa 2, Lisa Simpson 2, Meltzer 2, Pakistan 1, Ulster 1, Pennsylvania 1,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Brad Meltzer  Education.   
   (2012) 'Heroes for My Daughter.'  

    December 25, 2012
    8:15 - 8:45pm EST  

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>> the trail of tears, about the removal of indians from the eastern united states. there's a lot more to that story, as i discovered. something that convulsed the country at the time and that says a lot, speaks in a lot of ways to the contentious moves our politics today. >> will well, if the voice you're hearing sounds familiar, that's because it's steve inskeep, who is co-host of morning edition, and author of the book "instant estimate. life and death in karachi." if you would like to hear mr. inskeep in a longer format, we will be webcasting his event from one of the tents here later this afternoon. you can watch that at booktv.org. our full schedule of live coverage on our webcast and from -- on c-span2 is available
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at booktv.org. >> now from 2012 mike book fair, book tv sat down to discuss the book "heroes for my daughter." >> host: now joining us on our book tv set in miami is a affirm -- familiar face. brad melt sir. it's not often we talk about lisa simpson and dollie parton and the three stooges. >> i bring only the highest of high brow wherever i go. you're talking to me because of my love for my daughters, and seven years ago, on the night my daughter was born, i did a trick i did for my son. i rote "heroes for my daughter." and when it started writing the
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book -- on the night i was born, my father bought a bottle of sham page, and he said he would hope it when his son got married. and then my man lost his job and we moved of maryland to florida. we had no job no place to live, nothing. and the stuff you put in your moving van, your clothes, that's your stuff. but the things you keep in your car the movers can't touch, that's your life. the things no one can touch. and when we moved down, my mom and dad in the front, my sister and i in the book, and behind the head rest where we were sitting what two bottles of champagne. and that made it clear, we were their lives, and i remember driving to miami and the two bottles of champagne were rolling back and forth in the sun. my family new nothing about how to take care of champagne. so when my daughter was born, i
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said i'm going to write a book that lasts her a whole life. and i'm going to fill it with all the great heroes i can find. including lisa simpson, and rosa parks, and ameliaary arte, -- hart, and teach her how to be a good woman. and i thought i was just going to write advise for her, and then i heard stories about sally ride. america's first female astronaut in space. why did nasa pick her? why sallie ride? some say because she is a physics jeepous, others say she was a great county, which she was, but they picked her because nasa took out an ad in her college newspaper and said, we're looking for female astronauts and will you come and sallie ride, saw on opportunity and seized. i it. and i want mid daughter do learn that lesson.
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if she wants something see has to go over at. and this book is a way to give her thor heroes, and dolly parton, rosa parks, amelia air hart sally ride. >> host: where are those two bottles of champagne? >> guest: good question. on the day got married we opened up the champagne. i was the sourest, worst tasting champagne i ever had but it was also the greatest glass of champagne because is was infused of the love of the 30 years of my dad and mom and the love they had for me. no question my champagne career is done but the book i did better with. >> host: in between writing "heroes for your son" and now "heroes for your daughter" your parents died. >> guest: yeah. so, it's interesting you -- yesterday would have been my
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dad's 69th birthday. so he has been on my brain a lot. and i sat down in bed with my son yesterday and we were talking about him, and i think my dad would have gotten a kick about saying he was 69, because he had a foulest sense of humor than anybody. and i could think of him all day say, i'm 69 now. and there's a reason why the last heros in this book, is my mom, and my mom had passed away when i was working on the book. she was sick and my mom, years before she got sick, when my second novel came out, the publisher actually shut down. there's my wife and the page before is my mom. and the publisher had shut down, and i thought, these are my last moments as a writer. this is it. i'm not going to be able to make it. and that's my mom with me when i'm little. and i called my mom up and said, this is it. i'm not going to be a writer. she heard how terrified and scared i was. she said, i'd love you if you
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were a garbage man. she wasn't taking a crack at garbage men. my uncle was garbageman. she was saying, i love you and so every day i sit down to write, i say those words to myself, i'd love you if you were a garbage man. and the same with my dad. my dad a couple years ago, before he passed away, went in for,hip replacement surgery, and he was terrified because my dad, when he was 18 years old, he had surgery and he died on the table. he flatlined and they brought him back to life. and so he is wary, this is the last moments on earth. so his blood pressure is raising, they can't calm him down. the fill him full of tranquilizer, and then the anesthetic, and take him upstairs, an hour to two hours. he finely comes down, the doctor says do you want to see him?
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sure. guy into the room. my dad doesn't nowhere he is, full of anesthetic, tranquilizers, and he opened is eyes and said, i love you, and he said i sold a dozen books up there. i said that's what you're thinking of? he said, did you tell them about the paperback? heat how my lit contrary career took off. my two parents went into every barnes & noble in the america and saying, buy brad melt sir's book. it's a great book, and they said, he get it. >> host: very quickly, when did you first publish your first book, how many books have you written, novels, and how many books have you sold? >> guest: i've written eight thrillers. the ninth comes out in january. a serial killer who is imitating all the presidential assassins to john wilkes booth and lee
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harvey oswald. and two nonfiction books, and then a lot of comic books i write as well. then in terms of sales i cooperate tell you my mom and dad could tell you what the sales are. something like 13 million books in print or some stupid number but aonly because my parents boy even some. i cleaned out my dad0s house, and in the closet there were tons of my books. like all the books in america my father and mother has personally bought. so i always appreciated their sales numbers. >> host: grad meltzer is our guest. if you want to dial in. >> host: you talked about your mother's death, and you referred to it as well in this hero,
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nancy brinker. >> guest: yeah. nancy brinker, i think everyone knows the pink ribbon. if you watch an nfl game they're wearing pink shoes and inc. gloves,, where it comes from, i wanted to remember my mom, and nancy brinker's sister was lying in bed with breast cancer, and nancy promised her and said -- she said, promise me that this -- you won't let got on like this? she said, promise, and because of that, she -- her sister was the one named susan g. komen, and all people in the race for the tour it because this one sister promised another she wouldn't be forgotten. and i loved that story. i said for my mother who died of breast cancer, for every woman out there who is fighting breast cancer, i had a woman who came here today and said she just found out she will be battling
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breast cancer. that fight has to go on, and it's telling amazing stories. >> host: how old is your daughter now? >> guest: seven. >> host: and how many kid does you have? >> guest: i have three kids, two sons and one daughter. >> host: what do we do -- >> guest: i said the one thing i will tell you, heroes for my son has 25 5 2 heros and heroes for my daughter has 62 heroes. i repeated heroes because i wanted her to have rosa parks and gandhi and ameliaaryhart. so my daughter looks at the book and she says, sons is not as big as mine. so don't bring it up in a house, a big issue in house, and my tower is very happy that her book is bigger and has more heroes than my sons'.
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>> host: golda meier. >> guest: one of the hardest heros toage. jewish hero, foreign minister, prime minister of israel, amazingly strong stateswoman. i wanted a stateswoman in there but i didn't want -- it's interesting she has a story and a history that is based so much on what we other would call chuptza. i didn't want to say -- she raised so much money in america, and came here and found millions of dollars to support and help israel grow. i didn't want tote be about fundraising. so i found this one story i loved that golda meir used to invite other statesmen to her house and bring them to her kitchen, and at first -- i said i don't want to say she is in her kitchen doing things. but the reason she brought them
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there is they would see the world on her terms. she would bring them to her place. and i loved that strength. i wanted my daughter to have that strength. and when i wrote "heros for my daughter" the editor said to me, brad, i have one problem with the book. and she goes, you use one word in this book over and over and over again. i said what's the word? she said, fighter. she said, use you the word fighter in almost every entry. the the dalai lama's entry, and i guess show mist lack of command of the english language, but the truth is i want my daughter to learn how to fight. i don't apologize for that. i want her to learn how to fight. i want her to know if she wants something, she should fight for it and if she seize injustice, she should fight hard. i say, don't by the princess waiting for the prince to rescue you. you can rescue yourself. so i changed the word fighter to other words but over and over i realized i kept pick fighters
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for my daughter. >> host: there are a few men in "heroes for my daughter" including randy pausch. >> guest: it's a double-dollar standard. when i did "heros for my son" of course i included women. and a lot of people said they were surprised there were men in "heroes for my daughter." of course women can be horses today. randy -- many people saw his last lick tour, dying of pancreatic cancer, and one of my dear friends when i was looking on this book was guy who wrote the last book about randy pausch. and i told him i wanted a story about randy nobody knows. and i said, give me something
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that nobody knows about randy pausch. he told me this amazing story. he said the story about randy is this. everyone knows randy's famous and when we was dying of cancer, that he inspired so many people. so what i loved is that his son, dylan, right after he dies, his son went to his dear friend and said, is cancer solvable? and randy's friend said, you know what, it's not solvable, dylan. there's no pure for cancer. not at all. and he said, you know what? my dad told me that everything was a problem that can be solved. how can there not be a cure? and what i love that recently, last summer, randy's son, dylan, was on capitol hill lobbying for pancreatic research funding. so it's important that people hear your message and it's far more vital when one person acts on it and i love his son was
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inspired to take action like that. and randy became one of the heroes. >> host: the first call for brad comes from matthew in portland, oregon. hi, matthew. >> caller: good morning. can you hear me? >> host: good morning. >> caller: i just like to bring up a couple women heroes i was thinking. famous in ireland in ulster, a famous warrior woman that was known the pest warrior out of all of ireland and she had a training camp in ulster where all the real high-quality warriors would go and learn from her. and a lady in -- that helicopter -- a welsh lading that helped lead a resistance against a roman invasion, and
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bill hooks, a famous writer, and also -- advocating for compulsory education for girls in pakistan who was tried and murdered. i'd like to make that comment. my condolences to your parents, and i love that. i love how you talked about the -- do not have to be -- more than capable of being trained to be able to defend themselves. and, yeah, so peace and love. >> host: matthew. >> guest: i appreciate that. i should also tell you that so many, matthew, of the people that got -- when we started writing "heros for my son" and i went on facebook or twitter and said please send me other heros and so many people have send me heroes. in fact one of the last heros in
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the book is a woman named will ma rude dolph, and i didn't know who she was. she was young girl who had polio, and the doctors said she would never be able to walk, ever, and her mom used to drive back and forth, take a bus for hours and hours trying to get her to doctors appointments, and they said, she'll never walk. final russian when she was a little girl, take herbarieses off, and she starts running, and she starts running faster than anyone. she wins the bronze medal, and then triple gold medals. the fastest woman on the planet, and when they ask bit it later, she says, the doctors said i'd never walk again. my mother said i would. i decided to listen to my mother. and i thought that's a good hero, and it's because of people like you who wrote to me and said, brad you got to hear the story about this hero. so i like that pakistani girl. and what i love is, exactly what you said, ordinary people who changed the world.
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everyone doesn't have to be famous or have a tv show or make a lot of money. just regular, ordinary people who no one has ever heard about. those are the best heroes in the book. >> host: jim in pennsylvania. good afternoon from miami. you're on with awe their brad meltzer. >> caller: thank you for taking my call, i was on the way out to the door to run anary rand when i saw brad meltzer on your program, and when i heard the word heroes it reminded me of a kissing just had with my sister, it was over the book "death of the west" and he sad we have stripped away heroes out of our history books,, in the schools, and i just think that we need heroes to look up to and emulate. and right now it seems like in this country we have a trickle-down immortality, and so just hearing all these books and
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your philosophy, brad, of getting heroes out into the public, just really enlightens me and i just feel so good that you're doing this, and i look forward to reading your books because i do believe we need to have heroes -- >> guest: i appreciate that. you're exactly right. in fact one of the things i really want -- whether we like it or not, our kids are going to pick heroes. you might as well have a say it in. if you don't they're going to pick some dumb athlete with some stupid reality show bimbo, and it was important that my daughter, and even my mother and wife, i can say you're a hero to me. if you ask me, the most important hero in this book, on the last page. the last two pages are blank and said you hero's photo and story here, and i promise you, you take a picture of your mother or
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grandmother or military member of your family and whether it's christmas or hanukkah, you put their picture in this book and write one sentence what they mean to you, that the most important hero. we might as well give people this way to say there's -- you're right, we're a country starving for heroes. this election shows it more than you've ever seen, and for me this is a way to remind people there are great heroes around us every day. >> host: brad, what do you do with he history channel? >> guest: we do a show called -- the official title is brad meltzer's decoded. i said to my wife, what are we having for brad meltzer's dip center and tonight i'd like to have brad meltzer's pasta, and she said you can sleep on brad meltzer's couch. we tackle the greatest mysteries of history, we tackle whenever
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john will,. booth -- history books say he what shot and killed. but then we have this woman who -- she found me through my drill thrillers, and john wilkes booth's family came on the show and said, when i was a little girl -- she was 90 -- she said we have a family secret. the secret is we're relate to john wilkes booth, and the secret is that no one can know he never died. he actually lid and he had a new identity, and here's the proof. and it wasn't a woman who was trying to sell a book or sell movie rights. just want the story told before she died. and whatever you think about history, you got to stop and go, wait a minute, is that right or wrong? and so every week we tackle these questions. some completely crazy. people say the statue of liberty i the symbol of the state and all nonsense like that. so decoded -- we're not a
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conspiracy show but trying to find the greatest story of all this, true story, and i think people forget that history is not a bunch of dates and facts you memorize. history is an a selection process, and doesn't choose people in moment and mashes them together. it chooses every sing one of us every day. the only question is do you hear the call? >> host: steve in south dakota. good afternoon from miami. go ahead with your question or comment. >> caller: good afternoon. yes, yes. hello, brad. i love brad meltzer's decoded, and i want to -- >> guest: must be a relative. >> caller: no, actually i'm not. i just saw you on booktv and recognized you from your other show, and paid attention, and got a chance to talk to you. i have a suggestion for your next book. >> guest: i'm ready. >> caller: okay, heroes for -- more heroes for my children.
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keep it up. i love it. i'm looking at your books for my grandchildren. >> guest: i appreciate that. grandmothers are our best customers,'ll tell you trust me, i recently went -- if you want to know what the next book into be for me, i recently spent time with the uso. i just got back from a uso tour across kuwait, undisclosed military locations, spending ten days in four countries on eight military bases entertaining the troops, and if you want to find the real heroes, the ones i would include in another book, it was the men and women in the military, who every single day are doing incredible things and i'm not talking about the people fight on the front lines but people moving water and supplies and books of all things, and food, and this massive operation. what i loved over and over, i would say, i would say to reservists, what do you do in your civilian life?
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i work at lowe's or home depot. i'm a guy who is marketing manager in a small company. it's those everyday, order people. i believe in regular people and their ability to effect change is in world. >> host: are your novels popular with the military. >> guest: it's interesting. ten years ago, i got an e-mail from a guy on a submarine, and he said to me -- right after 9/11. he said i'm on a submarine, can't tell you where i am, but your book really meant a lot to me. took my mind off things, and just blew me -- >> host: which book? >> guest: the first counsel, a book about a president's daughter in the white house and the secret tunnels under the white house, and he liked. and he wrote to me. and i called my publisher up and said, can i get 10,000 books donated to the u.s. so? and they said, sure, that was so
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easy. and i called another publisher and i said, can i get ten thousand books, they said sure. so we had 40,000 books donated to the uso, and i tell you, i never -- whether it was because of that or other ropes, the troops love thrillers, and they said we don't want to send literary fiction, they want thrillers. and so when i got there it was amazing how many readers we had there who just really like that fast-paced action adventure, so we have been blessessed having the military read our books. >> host: when you write the thrillers, you keep the language issue odd out there. i do. i had a woman who wrote to me and said, i love your books, and i read one of the books and the language was -- i wanted to give it to my younger son to read and i couldn't do it. i said, i can do it without the language. so now i get all these letters, authors, people are saying to
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us, you choo write like brad meltzer, and he doesn't curse, and then i tell them to skew themselves and follow my lead. but the truth is we can be read by nine-year-olds and teenagers who come and read the books. and in fact when i was in the military, this woman who came up to me said, i've been read your books since junior high school, and i want to say thank you. and i thought, i came all this way to say thank you to you. i'm thanking you, and i love the fact you can read it at any range and get involved in it. >> host: if people want to go back in time and read that book with happening, which one was that. >> guest: the first one. had the language. after that i kind of swore it off. and i had kids, and i wanted them to read it. i want my kids to be able to rate, and i never even thought about it. i grew up in a household where you said whatever you santa and that's how my dad raised us. but i realized i had to teach my kids. the fun part know was getting to
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tell these stories and real stories, and to me, if i did the white house and do the secret tunnels below the white house, i can make up whatever i want. i said there's secret thumbs from the white house to disney world, and then you'd laugh and say that's not true. but if i tell you they're in the ground floor of the white house and you'll see a statue. make a left at the stat tyer, are you be in a small room, chairs stacked up to the ceiling. go out of the back of the room and you'll smell flowers in the irair. that the white house flower shop. and then when you get to to the end of the hallway, make rand turn and there's a steel door, and that's the real secret entrance to the hidden tunnels, where the bomb shelter is and now you go, that's real to me life taking my fiction and i can make up whatever i want after that but i love i get to take those real details and put them in the book and that's what the military people appreciate, the
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attention to deday. >> host: two of brad's fans are presidents george w. bush and president bill clinton as well. next call from beverly in maryland. hi, beverly. >> how are you today? >> host: good. >> guest: good. >> caller: my question is for brad. i read your article -- >> host: we're listening . >> read your article on your english teacher and how you went back to her retirement, and it was the most laudible thing i had read, acknowledging how good teachers can be, and i wondered if you stayed in touch with her and to thank you for that wonderful tribute. >> guest: i appreciate that. that was in parade magazine. i tell you what happenedtime. won't e won't believe the end of the story. when i was in nine grade, my
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english teacher, sheila spicer, said to me you can write. and i said, anyone can write. she said, no, you know what you're doing. she tried to put me in the honors class but i had a conflict. so she said, you're going to sit in this corner for the entire year, ignore everything i do at the blackboard, every homework assignment i give, and she was saying you're going to do the honors work but she was saying you're going to thank me later. and sure new york 12 years later, went back to my classroom, when my first novel was published, i knocked on the door, and she said, can you help you? i said my name is brad meltzer, and i wrote this book, and i said it's for you. she carted crying. she said i didn't think i was having an impact anymore. i was going to retire. i said, are you kidding me? you have 30 stunts, we had one teacher. you never know. and she changed my life, my english teacher, and i get